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From: "Jim Henley" <jlhenley@erols.com>
Subject: (urth) Of Cacogens and Carnifexes (Carnifices?)
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 1999 23:04:49 

Joy at last came to Casa High Clearing yesterday in the form of my belated
birthday copy of the Lexicon. Suffice to say I'm enjoying it hugely, but a
couple of etymologies are not in there that I wanted to offer up.

First "cacogen." Okay, filthy born. Right. Got that. But has anyone
suggested "shit-spewer" or even bullshitter? If we read it as being of the
same form as _pathogen_ we get "causer or creator or producer of ordure" -
cacogenesis would be the process itself. (And what a lovely process it is!)
From there it's just a quick jaunt to the demotic, fueled by the resentment
for extrasolarians. And what do people resent? That the cacogens keep
whispering in the Autarch's ear, no doubt feeding him a line of crap to get
him to do what they want.

Seems like "cacogen" becomes a genuinely insulting thing to say about

Carnifex - wouldn't this simply be "meat maker?" A pretty direct
characterization of an executioner's function - you could see it maybe
appearing on their vision statements. Then if there were an unheated prison
where, one winter, an inmate was pressed into the role of acting headsman
in the absence of an official functionary, the poor fellow would be a
chilly con carnifex.

<runs like hell>


"What fades in time                           Costello/
will hurt much more"                        Bacharach, "My Thief"

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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